May 10, 2010 Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
A key contention of the transitional justice movement is that the more comprehensive and
vigorous the effort to bring justice to a departed authoritarian regime the better the
democratizing outcome will be. This essay challenges this view with empirical evidence
from the Iberian Peninsula. In Portugal, a sweeping policy of purges intended to cleanse
the state and society of the authoritarian past nearly derailed the transition to democracy
by descending into a veritable witch-hunt. In Spain, by contrast, letting bygones be
bygones, became a foundation for democratic consolidation. These counter-intuitive
examples suggest that there is no pre-ordained outcome to transitional justice, and that
confronting an evil past is neither a requirement nor a pre-condition for democratization.
This is primarily because the principal factors driving the impulse toward justice against
the old regime are political rather than ethical or moral. In Portugal, the rise of
transitional justice mirrored the anarchic politics of the revolution that lunched the
transition to democracy. In Spain, the absence of transitional justice reflected the
pragmatism of a democratic transition anchored on compromise and consensus....
January 12, 2005 American Society of International Law
On December 15, 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) dismissed separate complaints originally filed on April 29, 1999 by Serbia and Montenegro against eight NATO member states (Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal and the United Kingdom), asking the ICJ to hold each of the respondent states responsible for international law violations stemming from the NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia in March-April 1999. According to the Court's unanimous Judgments, Serbia and Montenegro lacks standing to sue before the ICJ....
The United States of America finds that neither the classic instruments of criminal law and procedure, nor the framework of the laws of war (including respect for the Geneva Conventions) has been apt to address the terrorist threat. As a result it has introduced new legal concepts, such as "enemy combatant" and "rendition", which were previously unheard of in international law and stand contrary to the basic legal principles that prevail on our continent. Thus, across the world, the United States has progressively woven a clandestine "spider's web" of disappearances, secret detentions and unlawful inter-state transfers, often encompassing countries notorious for their use of torture. Hundreds of persons have become entrapped in this web, in some cases merely suspected of sympathising with a presumed terrorist organisation....
December 7, 2004 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was formed shortly after the end of the Second World War to counter the threat of Soviet invasion of Western Europe. The treaty setting up the alliance was signed in 1949 by 10 Western European nations as well as Canada and the United States. NATO's mandate is to provide a common defence for the European and Atlantic areas, and to address common issues faced by the member countries.
April 27, 2011 International Peace Research Institute
The political transitions in Egypt and Tunisia have rekindled
the interest in how states and societies have moved from authoritarian
regimes to democracy after overthrowing old regimes.
This report responds to that interest by providing a factual
overview of transitions to democracy of nine European states
between 1974 and 1991.
The states covered fall into two geographical regions:
Southern Europe, and Central and Eastern Europe. The context
of transition in each of these regions was different. The transitions
in Southern Europe took place as mainly discrete events
with little influence of one country over another. In contrast,
there was a strong regional dynamic in Central and Eastern
Europe, where all transitions were influenced by Gorbachev’s
policies of perestroika and glasnost and the loosening of the
Soviet Union’s grip on its satellite states....
June 3, 2009 Initiative for Peacebuilding // Partners for Democratic Change International
This Synthesis Report extracts the main findings from seven EU Member State case studies surveyed under
the Capacity-Building and Training Cluster of the Initiative for Peacebuilding (IfP). Case studies were conducted
in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain in order to assess these countries’
capacities to meet EU spending targets for official development assistance (ODA) and to analyse the position of
peacebuilding within national ODA policies. Each case study analysed country-specific ODA policies by focusing
on institutional mechanisms and key actors in managing and implementing ODA; the role and capacity of civil
society organisations in influencing planning, implementation, and evaluation of ODA; and public awareness of
and support for ODA.
This report finds that international development cooperation has received growing attention during the last
decade in all surveyed case-study countries. New EU Member States in particular are striving to adhere to
their international commitments by further refining their ODA policies; enhancing the institutional structures
for managing and implementing ODA; and increasing cooperation with and consultation of civil society
This bulletin contains information about Amnesty International’s main concerns in Europe and
Central Asia between July and December 2007. Not every country in the region is reported on; only
those where there were significant developments in the period covered by the bulletin, or where
Amnesty International (AI) took specific action.
A number of individual country reports have been issued on the concerns featured in this bulletin.
References to these are made under the relevant country entry. In addition, more detailed
information about particular incidents or concerns may be found in Urgent Actions and News
Service Items issued by AI.
This bulletin is published by AI every six months....
President Sarkozy has recently said that France may re-integrate into NATO's military command. This abrupt change in French policy opens doors to a much-needed improvement in EU-NATO relations. The two institutions have been barely co-operating on important missions like Kosovo, which leaves Europe ill-prepared for security challenges on its borders. But for the EU and NATO to really turn a corner, the UK must first agree with France how independent from the US, Europe's defences should become. The US will need to give France command posts in NATO, and Turkey will have to drop its opposition to Cyprus' co-operation with the alliance....
In March 2003, a U.S.-led multinational force began operations in Iraq. At that time, 48 nations, identified as a "coalition of the willing," offered political, military, and financial support for U.S. efforts in Iraq, with 38 nations other than the United States providing troops. In addition, international donors met in Madrid in October 2003 to pledge funding for the reconstru#ction of Iraq's infrastructure, which had deteriorated after multiple wars and decades of neglect under the previous regime.
This testimony discusses (1) the troop commitments other countries have made to operations in Iraq, (2) the funding the United States has provided to support other countries' participation in the multinational force, and (3) the financial support international donors have provided to Iraq reconstruction efforts....